Fathers don’t experience morning sickness, food aversions, and (worst of all) labor, but that doesn’t mean they don’t still have important duties. Fathers should do as much as they can to uphold their role as a new parent once the baby is born.
Being attentive as a father can offer great health benefits for newborns, and the importance of father-baby bonding should not be underestimated. So, how can dads help with newborns? Here are six essential duties for new fathers that will help you to share the responsibility of parenting and build a strong bond between you and your child.
1. The Importance of Diapers for Father-Baby Bonding
It truly is amazing how much babies poop and pee. New parents will likely be changing diapers at least every couple of hours. That's about 12 diaper changes every single day!
The good news: the older your baby gets, the less frequent diaper changes become. Still, you’re going to plow through lots and lots of diapers.
As part of a dad’s role with a newborn, you must share the burden of this stinky task with the other parent. Sorry! But it’s worth doing considering the importance of father-baby bonding.
2. Burp the Baby
Babies often get gas while feeding. That’s where burping comes in. “Burping” your baby involves rocking and gently patting their back, which helps your baby to get air bubbles out.
To help your gassy baby digest their meal, burp them after every bottle feeding and breastfeeding. For babies who fuss and spit up a lot during feeding, go ahead and give them burpings a little more often.
3. Give the Baby Skin-to-Skin Contact
After babies have been in the womb for so long, being exposed to the outside world can be stressful. Skin-to-skin contact, however, can help to calm them.
It’s furthermore believed that skin-to-skin contact helps to stabilize the baby's heart rate, blood pressure, respiratory rate, and body temperature — all of which help prevent fits and crying.
Skin-to-skin contact is also an important relationship-building opportunity for father-baby bonding. If you’re wondering how dads can help with newborns, this is a great way, and we recommend that you start doing this as soon as your baby arrives.
4. Calm the Crying Baby
Calming a crying child down is one of the most important things you can do given the importance of father-baby bonding. To keep yourself sane, you need to learn how to calm your baby when they cry.
Sometimes the baby will be well fed and burped, have no fever or physical discomforts, and have a clean diaper but still won’t stop crying. It's in your best interest to know some crying solutions for these situations.
Several easy remedies can help to ease unknown stressors and calm your newborn down. Some calming methods include:
- Sticking a pacifier in their mouth
- Swaddling them
- Placing them in a motorized swing
- Taking the baby for a drive
- Running the vacuum for white noise
5. Hold the Baby Correctly
How else can dads help with newborns? Dads will need to carry around newborns as much as moms do, so learning how to do so early on can be a big help. Prevent accidents by taking the time to learn how to hold a baby in your lap, on your shoulder, in a chair, on your hip, and cradled in your arms.
The Huggs Baby Carrier is a great way to keep your baby safe while toting them around. Easy and comfortable carrier products like these give you peace of mind and save you a lot of time and hassle.
6. Feed the Baby
Even if you’re planning on breastfeeding your baby for a long time, there will still eventually be times when you as a father will have to bottle-feed your infant. Feeding is an important way to get both father-baby bonding and give your child proper nutrition.
Later on in your baby’s life, a high chair like the Beyond Junior Y High Chair makes the feeding process a lot easier for parents. It’s worth investing in a decent high chair for feeding time that keeps your child safe and comfortable. Suction baby dishes can also make the feeding experience (relatively) mess free.
Embrace the Importance of Father-Baby Bonding
As a father, it will make an enormous difference if you’re sharing the burden of parenthood with your partner, and both of you will be much less stressed. The more you acknowledge the importance of father-baby bonding and act accordingly, the more likely parenthood will go smoothly for both you and your partner. Read more parenting tips at Abiie.